Christmas is around the corner and if you’re wondering how to keep the spirit alive in your little ones this December, we’ve rounded up the 20 best things going on in and around London.

From gingerbread workshops to Harry Potter escapades, here’s where to take the kids this Christmas.

Christmas at Kew 

Skip the Kew and grab your tickets now for the most enchanting light installation at Kew Gardens. Now in its ninth year, Christmas at Kew is littered with glittery spiral trees, wow-worthy laser projections and endless tunnels of fun. The kiddies can dive into buckets of moreish churros and hot chocolates while the parents enjoy a glass of mulled wine or two.

When: Until 9th January
Where:
Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Richmond, TW9 3AB
Website: www.kew.org

Skate at Somerset House 

Grab your skates and whizz on over to Somerset House to experience the capital’s most magical Christmassy experience. 

Perfect for budding ice skaters or for just making a fool out of yourself, the ice rink is arguably the best in London, and is complete with a giant 40ft Christmas tree. You’ll find food and drink offerings waiting for you at the finish line too, helping to warm you up with comforting favourites.

Grab your skates and whizz on over to Somerset House to experience the capital’s most magical Christmassy experience. 

When: Until 16th January
Where: Somerset House, Strand, WC2R 1LA
Website: www.somersethouse.org.uk

Hogwarts in the Snow 

From flaming Christmas puddings to glittering Christmas trees, prepare to dive headfirst into a Christmas wonderland as the Harry Potter studio is transformed into Hogwarts in the Snow.

Whizz over on your Nimbus 2000 and fall in love with the epic Hogwarts castle model that’s been covered in a dusting of snow, before making your way through the Gryffindor common room and Boys’ dormitory. It’ll be as if Harry and his friends are still living in the space, with original props including handmade Christmas cards on display. John Richardson and the SFX team have used their expertise to create fireplaces that flicker and appear lifelike.

New for 2021, the Forbidden Forest will be given a festive makeover draped in layers of snow. Even the cobbled stone walkway and shop fronts of Diagon Alley will be adorned with filmmaking snow, for the first time ever. It’s so realistic that you’ll even hear a crunch under foot and snowflakes floating around you.

A huge part of the Hogwarts experience sits inside the Great Halls, that’s been given a Winter makeover and is abrim with wreaths, garlands and trees topped with witches on miniature broomsticks.

When: Until 16th January 
Where:
Studio Tour Drive, Leavesden, WD25 7LR
Website: www.wbstudiotour.co.uk

Raymond Briggs’  Father Christmas 

Make sure you head on over to Hammersmith this Christmas to catch Santa and all of his festive antics in a magical retelling of Raymond Briggs’ Father Christmas. Follow along Mr C’s adventures as he prepares for his busiest day of the year: Christmas Eve!

The production, co-produced with the Olivier Award nominated Pins & Needles Productions, returns to the Lyric Hammersmith Theatre for its 10th year. Don’t miss out on this family favourite. 

 

When: Until 24th December
Where: Lyric Hammersmith Theatre, Lyric Square, King Street, W6 0QL
Website: www.lyric.co.uk

Meet Santa at The National Gallery 

Santa will be arriving in London a little earlier than usual this December as he sets up home for a few days at the National Gallery, Trafalgar Square! Bookings are available until 12th December so get your tickets pronto and mingle with Santa and his little elves as they prepare for the busiest season yet. 

Help make magical snowflakes and earn an honorary elf badge, before heading to the forest to hear an Elven story. Meet Santa and receive a special token before heading to the sorting office to redeem… 

When: Until 12th December
Where: The National Gallery, Trafalgar Square, WC2N 5DN
Website: www.nationalgallery.org.uk

Nutcracker 

A London Christmas staple, the Nutcracker returns to the London Coliseum for a limited run of performances. See over 100 dancers and musicians perform in front of what’s set to be a sold-out audience. 

Expect stunning set design and Tchaikovsky’s score to be performed live as you follow Clara and her Nutcracker’s story unfold. Book your tickets early as the return of the Nutcracker is set to sell like hotcakes.

WHEN: 16TH DECEMBER – 8TH JANUARY
WHERE: LONDON COLISEUM, ST MARTIN’S LANE, WC2N 4ES
WEBSITE: WWW.THEATRETICKETSDIRECT.CO.UK

Where: 17 Queensway, Bayswater, W2 4QP
Website: www.queens.london

Queens London

Get ready to put your ice skating prowess to the test as you glide around Queen’s, London’s only all year-round ice rink. With so many of the outdoor ice rinks closed this year, it’s the perfect place to get your icy kicks and entertain the kids as you whizz or gracefully fall flat on your face around the rink. 

The Snow Kingdom & The Winter Night Garden, Backyard Cinema 

Fall in love with the magic of cinema once again this Christmas as Backyard Cinema’s The Snow Kingdom and The Winter Night Garden return with Christmas film classics. From the Home Alone franchise to Will Ferrell’s iconic Elf, The Muppets Christmas Carol to Love Actually, make sure you reserve your tickets now because many screenings have already sold out.

Where: CAPITAL STUDIOS, RAM QUARTER, 13 WANDSWORTH PLAIN SW18 1ET
Website: WWW.BACKYARDCINEMA.CO.UK

The Magic of Christmas, London Zoo

Experience the magic of Christmas through animals this festive period when you book a spot at London Zoo’s The Magic of Christmas. From a family festive trail to a VIP breakfast meet Santa and animal gifting experience, watch as the kiddies faces light up at all of the festive fun.

New for 2021 is the Sensory Sweet Shop! Expect clouds of candy floss, marshmallow meadows and a forest of candy canes to await you at London Zoo.

When: Until 3rd January
Where:
LONDON ZOO, OUTER CIR NW1 4RY
Website: WWW.ZSL.ORG

The Bolds

The Bolds is a cracker of a show… Written and adapted for stage by Julian Clary, join The Bolds, a family who live in an ordinary house, with ordinary things… Except there’s one difference. They are a family of hyenas! 

Watch as the family tries to keep their secret under wraps as they navigate their busy lives between work, school and friends. A production filled with fun and laughter, you won’t want to miss it.

When: Until 31st December
WherE: Unicorn Theatre, 147 Tooley Street, SE1 2HZ
Website: www.unicorntheatre.com

The Snowman

Who doesn’t love the heartwarming story of the boy who becomes friends with his snowman? This Christmas sees Raymond Briggs’ winter novel come to life on the big stage. Fall back in love with the festive classic thanks to Bill Alexander’s directorial magic, music and lyrics from Howard Blake, including everyone’s favourite ‘Walking in the Air’, and choreography by Robert North. 

Watch the magic unfold through beautiful storytelling, dance and live music. Perfect for children, adults and everyone in between, this is one magical snowy production you won’t want to miss.

WHEN: 20TH NOVEMBER – 2ND JANUARY
WHERE: PEACOCK THEATRE, PORTUGAL STREET, WC2A 2HT
WEBSITE: WWW.THEATRETICKETSDIRECT.CO.UK

London’s Christmas Lights

Twinkling lights, floating spirits and a kaleidoscope of butterflies can only mean one thing. London’s most iconic streets are about to light up for Christmas!

From Oxford Street to Carnaby Street, Marylebone Village to Covent Garden, read on to find out where to see the most spectacular light displays in London this year and when they’ll be turning on.

Winter Igloos 

Live out your Antarctic dreams when you book into Aviary’s iconic igloos, or enjoy the riverside views at Coppa Club’s cosy igloos hubs this festive season. Igloos are the perfect place to soak up all of the festive spirit, enjoy delicious dining experiences with your loved ones and experience some of the best views in the city.

Gingerbread City 

Need some inspiration for your festive gingerbread creation this Christmas? Look to the Gingerbread City, the annual exhibition that sees architects, designers and engineers build a city out of gingerbread. 

Running from 4th December to 9th January, head down to get inspired by the creations, from the adorable little houses to windmills, skyscrapers to cars. This year’s theme is ‘Nature in the City’, helping to raise awareness of pollution and the environment.

WHEN: 4TH DECEMBER – 9TH JANUARY
WHERE: 6-7 MOTCOMB STREET, BELGRAVIA, SW1X 8JU
WEBSITE: ​​WWW.THEGINGERBREADCITY.COM

Christmassy Venues 

Now that it’s officially December, we can eke out every ounce of the festive period with a trip to one of London’s most Christmassy restaurants and bars.

Whether you’re in need of a last minute party destination or you’re simply trying to get into the festive spirit, read on to find out where to find the capital’s finest yuletide destinations (and where you can bring the kids along too to soak it all up!)

Where: Whitmoor Forest, Swinley Road, Winkfield Row, Ascot, SL5 8BD
Website: www.laplanduk.co.uk

Lapland UK

Venture a little further afield and really soak up the festive spirit at Lapland UK. Let your little elves fall in love with the magic of Christmas as you wander around, visiting Santa’s little helpers’ workshops, his grotto and the Enchanted Forest.

Biscuiteers 

Biscuiteers is hosting a series of in-store classes again in the run up to Christmas. The two-hour classes will see you and your little ones on your way to icing the best biscuits in town, learning tips and techniques from their team of experts. Decorate them in store and enjoy them over the festive period or gift your creations to a loved one. 

Brunch with Santa Claus

Before Santa delivers all of the presents on December 24th night, he’ll be making a pit stop at AllBright Mayfair to treat the little ones for a morning of magical wonderfulness. 

Taking place on Saturday 18th December, book in for a delicious brunch and prepare to be greeted with Mr C himself as he makes his way around the room, greeting every table. He’ll be sharing his festive stories fireside and may even be leaving a few special gifts for those on the Nice list.

When: Saturday 18th December
Where: AllBright, 24-26 Maddox Street, Mayfair W1S 1PP
Website: www.allbrightcollective.com

Battersea Power Station 

Battersea Power Station welcomes the return of The Winter Village! This year the area will be transformed with foodie pop-ups, a Christmas market, family-friendly rides and a whole host of restaurants offering their own festive menus too. 

Ride on the vintage Ferris Wheel or challenge your family to a game of Yule Boules and Reindeer Toss. Take part in one of Moyses Stevens’ Centrepiece flower workshops or take the little’uns to Santa’s very own workshop. There’s so much to see and do this Christmas.

Over at the Turbine Theatre catch Dr Seuss’s The Cat in the Hat on the big stage! Expect a whole lot of mischief and madness.

WHERE: BATTERSEA POWER STATION
WEBSITE: WWW.BATTERSEAPOWERSTATION.CO.UK

 

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Aqua Kyoto Kid’s Menu 

Four course menu for the kids? Yes please! 

Not only does this Japanese restaurant have a large heated terrace, it’s also a great place to head with kids too. Available at the weekend for 12 years and under is their four course menu and unlimited soft drinks for just £15. 

For mains adventurous little ones can choose between Chicken karaage or Miso salmon fillet both served with steamed rice & grilled broccoli, before enjoying a selection of Japanese Mochi or ice cream for dessert.

Check out our guide to other family-friendly restaurants here.

Where: 5th Floor, 240 Regent Street, W1B 3BR
Website: www.aquakyoto.co.uk


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